Hi there! How are y’all? Did ya miss me? Come on…I missed you! Okay, I know…I’m sounding a needy. Sorry…but I really did miss ya. I just had to take a bit of a break to help get my mom back on her feet after the loss of her husband. But she’s doing much better now and I’m gonna try to get back in the swing of things and get back to the blogging and writing. So here I am and, shocker, stumped for a blog topic. Then I got to thinking that y’all hadn’t heard the latest update on the quackers (ducks). So here goes.
Now, some of you might remember from the last time I posted an update about the ducks that the whole neighborhood was watching these ducks and there was a raging debate over which one was the male and which one was female. Well, it turns out I’m not a very good farm girl when it comes to duck sexing. Because while my neighbor and I debated over which duck was the male, both ducks began accumulating a secret stash of eggs under the orange tree and eventually began sitting on a community nest with about 36 eggs in it! I was in Indiana visiting family when the boys broke it to me that the ducks were sitting and told me how cute it was that both of them took turns sitting on the nest. Sounded fishy to me…well, maybe ducky…but I reserved judgment until I got home.
So I arrive home, check out the humongous community nest and decide both ducks must be female. Argh! That means these poor little girl ducks only think they are going to have babies. Now for an animal husbandry lesson for the folks out there who don’t know much about ducks. In order to have baby ducks hatch from duck eggs, the eggs must be fertilized and to fertilize duck eggs requires a boy duck. Yeah, sorta like people…you gotta have a boy AND a girl if you wanna have babies. But nature refuses to be denied. So even a poor, lonely, old-maid duck will try her best to have babies without a boy duck. But there are no ducky sperm banks, so she’s gotta get creative. She will lay the eggs and sit the nest until hell freezes over in a valiant effort to carry on the species. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work and turns out a lot like a false pregnancy where the signs are all there, but no cigar…and no baby duckies.
Oh wait…hell hasn’t frozen over yet. So why isn’t Tubby still sitting on that nest? Well, I’ll bet you’ll never guess the answer to that question! Truth is, we had to take her eggs away from her. No…that’s not the part you’ll never guess. I’m getting to that. You see, it takes about 27 days to hatch duck eggs and Tubby was going on 2 months with her butt on those eggs. She only left the nest about twice a day to eat, drink, and take a quick swim…then right back on the nest to await the blessed event. The longer she sat on that nest, the uglier she got, until we had to don protective work gloves in order to shoo her off the nest twice a day to eat. She was so focused on willing those baby ducklings into existence that nothing else mattered. I would have taken the eggs away from her sooner, but my step-father had just passed and there was a lot going on with my mother. So I simply didn’t have time to deal with a neurotic duck. Besides, she seemed to be okay, just focused on hatching those darn eggs.
But then one day I was working on the computer and I heard her quacking in the back yard, which generally meant she was off her nest to eat, drink, and swim a bit. But this afternoon, I heard her quacking most of the afternoon and wondered if she’d finally given up on the eggs.
The next morning my neighbor knocked on my door and asked, “Hey, did you notice I took Tubby’s eggs away from her?”
“Oh, is that what happened? I heard her in the backyard yesterday and wondered if she’d finally given up on them. Thank you.”
The neighbor laughed and said, “No, she didn’t give up on them. I saw her walking around covered in black goo, so I followed her to see what she’d gotten into. She returned to her nest and was sitting on it when suddenly there was a loud pop and she jumped and lifted up and looked under her.”
I know I made a face as I tried to figure out what my neighbor was saying and she only laughed harder.
“You know what was happening?”
I shook my head. “Not a clue.”
“Those eggs had gotten so rotten that they were exploding under that duck and the black goo was what came out when the eggs exploded.”
Ewwwww!!! I’ve smelled that black goo…it’s horrendous and makes you want to puke on your new cowgirl boots. But then the image of poor Tubby sitting on those eggs and having them explode beneath her was just too much to bear and I almost wet my pants laughing at the picture. Now, don’t get freaked out and worry that her babies died…remember, no boy duck, no fertilized egg, no babies. Just plain old duck eggs left too long in the heat with an overly attentive duck. Okay, and a bit of a neurotic duck. It happens.
But a couple of months have passed now and Tubby is right back to her old self. She stands at the fence, tormenting the dog who spends most of his day trying to get the duck to stick her head through the fence. But our Tubby's too smart for that. She just waits for the dog to stop barking and then she whacks him on the nose with her beak...which just sets him off again.What a pair!
So…that’s my story, ducky and daffy, and I’m stickin’ to it. Hang on tight now ‘cuz we’re gonna go real, real fast!